Are you trying to find the best golf impact screen for your home golf simulator? This article will show you all the features to look out for in a golf impact screen so you know exactly how to plan your screen setup. We also feature 4 fantastic screens perfect for each situation.
The best golf impact screen for your golf simulator will combine affordability and premium quality, have low bounceback and noise, be easy and practical to set up and it will be the correct size for your simulator enclosure. I recommend Carl’s Premium Screen as the best golf impact screen around.
You should consider size and aspect ratio in relation to your projector too. This can be a headache for some, so our impact screen buying guide will explain exactly how to go about it.
The Best Golf Impact Screen – Carl’s Premium Screen
The best golf impact screen on the market is the Premium Impact Screen from Carl’s Place. This is a 3 layer, heavy-duty, tight-knit impact resistant polyester with a cushioned center layer, meaning the screen features excellent noise and bounceback protection, as well as a fantastic projected image.
Carl’s Premium Golf Impact Screens feature the following benefits:
Fantastic Image Quality
Carl’s Premium Screen features excellent image quality. The high quality polyester mesh is tightly woven, allowing absolutely minimal light through the screen. This means you can achieve an optimal image on the screen and enhance the immersion in your golf simulator.
I also recommend this screen for those wishing to create a home theatre setup in their golf simulator and anyone wishing to use a 4K projector. There’s no point maximising the resolution of your projector if your screen can’t cope with it.
Carl’s Premium screen will be a fantastic choice for anyone combining golf, movies and games in their simulator.
Wide Range of Sizes and Aspect Ratios – And Easy to Get the Right Size!
Carl’s Place allows you to choose an aspect ratio and then gives you a range of appropriate sizes of screen to choose from.
You can have confidence that your screen will accommodate an image in a certain aspect ratio, which makes pairing the screen with a projector model and mounting position so much easier.
You can even see the dimensions of the whole screen, outer border featuring the grommets and the viewable screen on which the image is projected.
I’ve found no other impact screen seller which displays this information as well as Carl’s Place.
Excellent Bounceback and Noise Protection
The tight knit heavy duty material used in the Carl’s Premium screen, along with the cushioning central layer, provides excellent protection against loud strikes and bounceback.
To further enhance protection against bounceback and reduce noise, you should also consider:
- How you fix the screen to the enclosure – you need to achieve an optimal balance between too tight (lots of noise and bounceback) and too slack (less noise and bounceback but more puckering and a wavy image)
- Placing extra protection behind the screen
- How far away from the screen your hitting position is
We discuss this more towards the end of this post in our impact screen buying guide.
You can add Safety Baffles and Fixings
You can also buy bungee ties and zip ties from Carl’s place which allow adjustable fixation between your enclosure and the grommets that are included with all of Carl’s screens. See our buying guide below for more on how to fix the screen to the enclosure!
Best Retractable Impact Screen – HomeCourse Pro Screen
Are you looking for an alternative quality impact screen option? What about a screen that you can retract and store whenever you’re not using your golf simulator?
The HomeCourse Pro Screen 180 is a super slick retractable impact screen that you can control wirelessly with a remote control. With one click of a button you can fold up your golf simulator setup which allows multi purpose use of your space. Great for those with garages in which you need to store vehicles.
The HomeCourse Pro Screen is made of ballistic grade material which absorbs the impact of the ball whilst still projecting a quality image. You’ll also benefit from the side netting which protects the sides of your golf simulator from wayward shots.
Best Cheaper Screen – Carl’s Standard and Preferred Screens
Carl’s Place also offers two cheaper tiers of impact screen, the preferred screens and the standard.
The preferred line of screens are a great option for golfers who need to stick to a stricter budget but still wish to benefit from the excellent size and aspect ratio options available to those ordering the premium range of screens.
Carl’s preferred screens still feature a tightly woven polyester threat that allows a very high quality image to be projected and will cushion the ball well to avoid significant bounceback.
The Standard Screens from Carl’s Place are great for beginner golf simulator owners who have a limited budget.
Again, you can buy a range of sizes in several aspect ratios, benefit from decent bounceback protection and you can project an image onto them. The image won’t be as crisp or as bright but it will do well for many golfers.
Golf Impact Screen Buying Guide
Impact Screen Material
A quality golf impact screen is usually made of either single or multiple layers of polyester mesh fabric. Some cheaper impact screens are made of archery baffle. The impact screen material needs to absorb the impact of the golf ball with minimal bounceback and noise and allow a high quality image to be displayed.
The impact screen material also needs to be bordered with grommets or other suitable fixings to allow it to be hung effectively. The golfer also needs to take care that the tension on all sides is equal to avoid puckering of the screen.
Carl’s Premium Screen features three layers of high quality polyester mesh, including a central cushioned layer to help decrease bounceback and noise.
Check out our dedicated article all about impact screen materials and picture quality!
Aspect Ratio and Impact Screen Size – How does this relate to your Projector?
Aspect ratio is extremely important for a golfer planning his or her impact screen purchase. In order to fill the screen with your projected image like in the image below, you need to get the aspect ratio just right.
It also needs to be planned in conjunction with your projector choice and projector placement. Optimising aspect ratio, projector throw ratio and projector mounting position can be difficult for many golfers planning their simulator. I’ve produced several articles on this subject so far, I hope you find them useful.
Carl’s Place allows you to choose from several aspect ratios and then gives you screen size options that fit this ratio perfectly. You could also contact Carl’s directly if you wanted a custom size screen, though their size options are pretty extensive.
What’s more, Carl’s gives you a break down of the total size of the scree, the dimensions of the outer edge including the grommets and the size of the central viewable screen on which an image can be displayed.
This is a important distinction, as the size of the image projected by your projector will need to be smaller than the screen by a few inches on all sides to allow for the border and fixings.
Bounceback is the ricochet of the golfball backwards off the impact screen and towards the golfer. This is more of a problem for those in shorter rooms who hit from closer to the screen, and for those whose screen material and screen setup are not optimised to absorb the ball’s energy.
Of course, you can reduce bounceback by moving your hitting area further from the screen, but in an already established simulator, moving the hitting area can cause several headaches.
Bounceback can actually be dangerous too, with ricochets towards yourself, your simulator technology and possessions and not to mention your friends, family and children being particularly undesirable. Additionally, bounceback can negatively affect your swing if you’re thinking about it as you hit the ball.
To reduce bounceback in a golf simulator consider the following actions:
- Choose a screen designed for minimal bounceback
- Ensure there is laxity in the screen when it is attached, not too much tension. You will have to strike a balance between too little tension (a screen which is more lax may pucker and reduce image quality) and too much tension (louder strikes with more bounceback).
- I recommend placing a soft piece of fabric, turf or other flooring below the screen. Artificial grass or putting green material works well here in a simulator.
For more tips on reducing bounceback in your golf simulator, check out my dedicated post here.
Noise is closely related to bounceback, you will experience louder ball to screen strikes with a less cushioned impact screen material hung with more tension.
The cushioned layer in Carl’s premium screen reduced the amplitude of golf ball strikes as much as possible.
Protecting the sides of the Screen and Enclosure
What’s worse than bounceback ricochets? An unfortunately aimed strike straight into the metal frame of the enclosure. These ricochets can be much more dangerous, firing back at the golfer with force and in an unpredictable direction.
I always recommend you cover the enclosure frame around your screen with padding or insulation. If done properly, this can enhance the looks and aesthetics of your golf simulator whilst making much more safe at the same time.
Carl’s Pro Golf Enclosure packages feature safety cushions of the correct length for the enclosure, which are easy to apply and look great!
You can make cheap custom enclosure protective cushions though. Buy some black fabric and pieces of foam from amazon and cut them to the correct sizes. Then you’ll just need to either sew it together or use another method such as staples. You can add straps and strips of velcro to attach them.
Tee to Screen Distance
I always recommend choosing the hitting position first in a golf simulator build then working from there.
If your golf simulator room dimensions mandate that you address the ball from quite close to the screen then you need to choose an impact screen with good bounceback and noise characteristics. Your shots will carry more energy to the screen from close range.
How to Hang a Golf Impact Screen?
You have several options to choose from when hanging your impact screen. I recommend you use fixings that are sturdy and easily adjustable because you will have to navigate the balance between too much tension (more bounceback and noise) and too little tension (more puckering).
Carl’s Premium Screens ship with borders including grommets, which are holes designed for fixing the screen to the enclosure. You can then additionally order bungee ties from Carl’s which are very cheap. These ties are adjustable and just what you need to achieve the right tension balance in your screen.
If for any reason you need extra tension in your screen, I recommend you add in some cable ties at specific points, which can be cut off and replaced if you need to adjust them.
Check out our dedicated post describing all the options available to a golfer when hanging an impact screen in their golf simulator.
Can you Hang a Golf Impact Screen from the Ceiling?
You can hang a golf impact screen from the ceiling, though the same considerations about balancing the tension all around the screen apply. This means the screen will need to be fixed to either the walls or an enclosure on either side as well as the floor.
Make note also of how heavy the screen is and whether any additional weight is carried through it. You would need to ensure the way in which you fixed it to the ceiling is strong enough (I’m thinking a mount with heavy duty screws and wall plugs) or it will all fall down.
A screen fixed to the ceiling and not really fixed to the other three sides will hang down with lots of puckering and will looks wavy, especially when struck with the ball. This is absolutely fine for a simulator which doesn’t use a projector.
Full setup simulators including projectors will suffer from poor image quality however if the impact screen is not fixed on each side. Bounceback would be largely neutralised in this setup though! 🙂
You can mount the HomeCourse Pro Retractable Screen to the ceiling or very close to it, then folding it up between sessions to allow better storage options in your space. It’s great for those that need to store vehicles or other large items in their garage golf simulator.
The Space Behind the Impact Screen
You need some space behind the golf impact screen to allow it to deform slightly when struck with the ball, otherwise the ball will impact the screen and then the wall, causing dangerous ricochet. I recommend at least 1ft of space to allow full deformation of the screen, especially on driver shots.
You should also consider putting additional cushioning material behind your screen if your setup allows. This could be heavy curtains, thermal blankets, moving blankets or even memory foam.
Pair a Carl’s Premium Impact Screen with a large piece of memory foam mounted to the wall behind the screen and you will have absolutely minimised the bounceback in your simulator.
To Sum Up – A Golf Impact Screen is the Centrepiece of a Golf Simulator
I believe the impact screen, launch monitor and golf mat are the most important features in a golf simulator. There are so many hidden considerations when planning an impact screen purchase, I hope you’ve found this post useful to clear then up in your head.
Whilst the impact screens from Carl’s Place are perhaps more expensive than budget screen options, I believe they are so worth it. You can order a screen that perfectly matches your size and aspect ratio needs, provides high quality image projection and minimisation of bounceback and noise.
That’s why the Premium Screen from Carl’s Place is my recommended impact screen.